Note From the Editor
The raging conflict between Israel and Palestine has not spared international students, as the Nepal Embassy in Tel Aviv has confirmed the death of 10 Nepali students who are in Israel working to support their families back in Nepal as part of their commitment under Israel’s “Learn and Earn” study program.
Amid conflict in another part of the world – the diplomatic tension between India and Canada – university presidents and officials in Canada reassure India students of their safety and welcome. In the UK, three international students are at risk of deportation due to an alleged technical glitch at Coventry University that prevented them from submitting their final exams.
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In response to the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict, the European Union (EU) has suspended all development aid to Palestine, a move precipitated by the massive surprise attack by Hamas on Israel that resulted in hundreds of casualties, including 10 Nepali students killed and several others wounded. Germany and Austria, also significant EU members, have suspended their aid to Palestinian territories, totaling millions of euros. While Italy plans to maintain its support, the EU’s suspension underscores the imperative to address incitement to violence and terror. The Nepal Embassy in Israel has confirmed the death of 10 Nepali students due to rocket attacks by Hamas. With seven more wounded and 17 held captive, the embassy sheds light on the perilous conditions faced by Nepali nationals amid the escalating Israel-Hamas conflict.
Amid escalating diplomatic tensions between Canada and India, Thompson Rivers University President Brett Fairbairn reassures Indian students, emphasizing Canada’s safety and welcome. TRU World reports a 23 percent increase in international enrollment despite the rift. Meanwhile, the University of Toronto’s Vice-President International Joseph Wong commits to the wellbeing of the institution’s 2,400 Indian students. Canadian colleges work to support Indian students amid concerns about safety and uncertainty, highlighting the significance of Indian students to Canada’s economy. Tensions persist, leaving families and candidates in uncertainty.
Three international students are at risk of deportation from the United Kingdom due to an alleged technical glitch at Coventry University that prevented them from submitting their final exams. Despite multiple attempts, they received error messages and couldn’t upload their assessments. Coventry University, however, denies any technical issues. Their visas are set to expire before they can benefit from the university’s appeals process, as international students must obtain their degrees before applying for a graduate visa. Even if they successfully appeal, the next exam date isn’t until December, with results expected after their visas expire in January. This situation has sparked criticism and uncertainty for the students.
New York businesses are eagerly preparing to hire Venezuelan migrants following the federal government’s decision to grant them Temporary Protected Status (TPS). Mirror Lake Inn in Lake Placid, facing a challenging job market due to the pandemic, is seeking to fill positions in various departments, potentially accommodating 20 to 30 more employees. GreenForce Training in Buffalo expects Viridi, a battery storage company they assist, to show interest in hiring migrants. New York State is grappling with over 400,000 open job positions, and TPS could help bridge the workforce gap. However, the timeline for individual application approvals remains uncertain. The inn employs Venezuelan workers and frequently utilizes the federal J-1 work study visa program.
The Australian Financial Review spotlights influential figures shaping Australia’s 2024 educational reforms, including Federal Education Minister Jason Clare, Sydney University’s Mark Scott, Churchill Primary School’s Jacquie Burrows, higher education reviewer Mary O’Kane, and university leader Vicki Thomson. Clare leads critical reviews on childcare, school funding, and university enrollment, while Scott’s research influences evidence-based education. Burrows’ leadership showcases academic improvement, O’Kane introduces innovative ideas, and Thomson advocates university funding reform. These influencers are pivotal in driving policy and reform for Australia’s education.
Students from Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger face visa uncertainties as relations with France deteriorate following coups in these countries. The suspension of French consular services due to security concerns has left hundreds uncertain about obtaining visas for professional trips to France. Critics claim France clings to undue influence in its former colonies, while France asserts it has moved beyond that. Amid this tension, President Emmanuel Macron aims to reshape ties with African colonies while in the middle of global competition. Experts note that the situation jeopardizes the plans of students and professionals from these West African states, potentially delaying their education and work experiences in France and highlighting complex diplomatic and educational dynamics.
Ireland’s national STEM policy, spanning 2021 to 2026, positions the country as an enticing destination for global STEM students. Five key skills – namely data technology, AI tech, biotechnology, agritech, and digital arts and humanities – are in high demand. Institutions like Trinity College Dublin and University College Dublin offer top-tier programs, while leading tech firms create abundant career opportunities. International students can pursue these paths by meeting standardized test criteria, holding relevant academic qualifications, navigating the CAO application system, and securing a student visa. Ireland appears to aspire for a leading path toward STEM education and access to the global job market.
Canadian Senator Percy Downe has raised concerns about security checks for international students entering Canada, calling for mandatory criminal background checks for study permit applicants. Recent cases of fraudulent acceptance letters and connections to criminal gangs among some students raised the possibility of stricter vetting. In 2022, international student enrollment surged, leading to concerns about lax admission regulations in new institutions. Senator Downe emphasized the importance of rigorous pre-arrival checks to ensure safety for both Canadians and newcomers, advocating for deporting foreign nationals who commit crimes and increased court system awareness.
Across more than 175 countries, EducationUSA operates a network of over 430 advising centers, offering assistance to international students pursuing US education. Tashna Nair from Mumbai, for instance, has found guidance in her US education journey through EducationUSA. These centers provide support in various ways, from helping students choose the right universities to conducting workshops on test preparation and essay writing. EducationUSA also creates opportunities for direct interactions between students and US university representatives at international fairs. Pre-departure orientations further prepare students for a successful transition. Prospective students and transfer candidates can both benefit from EducationUSA’s guidance.
The majority of Vietnamese international students in the US are gravitating toward STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) and business administration programs, accounting for nearly 70 percent of enrollments. Ambassador Marc E. Knapper noted that over 20,700 Vietnamese students are pursuing higher education in the US with a significant interest in these fields. Vietnam ranks second to China in terms of international students at American community colleges. Additionally, students are showing interest in graphic design, arts, nursing, as well as postgraduate degrees in areas such as community health and public health. The US is actively fostering science and technology collaboration with Vietnam and offering substantial scholarship opportunities for Vietnamese students, particularly in high-tech disciplines.
D-8 International University (D8IU) has signed crucial agreements with top Malaysian universities, marking a significant advancement in international education cooperation. This milestone event, attended by notable figures including Malaysia’s Minister of Higher Education Mohamed Khald bin Nordin, aims to boost educational collaboration among D-8 member states. Established in 2019, D8IU fosters inter-university interactions, ensures equitable education, and promotes educational justice across member nations.
A Visa study found Kenyan millennials and Gen Z to be the least vulnerable to online scams, with a 38 percent and 42 percent likelihood of responding to them. Conversely, baby boomers had a high 67 percent susceptibility to these schemes. Overconfidence played a significant role, with those perceiving themselves as more knowledgeable being more likely to fall for scams. The study covered 17 countries, stressing the need for vigilance. It noted that 74 percent of Kenyans had been scam victims, primarily concerning fake recruiters and investment scams. Kenyans showed a 77 percent tendency to verify email sources, above the global average. Visa’s Stay Secure campaign aims to combat evolving scams through education and awareness.
Rider University offers diverse undergraduate programs in arts, business, education, liberal arts, and sciences, emphasizing Engaged Learning. The institution is recognized by U.S. News and World Report’s Best Colleges and The Princeton Review’s Best Colleges. It is home to 3,168 undergraduates, has a 10:1 student-to-faculty ratio, and offers more than 90 majors, minors, and programs to choose from. Rider stands out for its rich student experiences and commitment to inclusivity.
Mount Allison University offers a distinctive aviation program that blends academic pursuits in arts, commerce, or science with professional flight training. In collaboration with MFC Training, a leading North American flight training institution, students can earn a bachelor’s degree while obtaining a Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL), multi-engine class rating, and Group 1 instrument rating. The program commences after the first year of academic studies, followed by intensive flight training and coursework. This unique opportunity positions graduates for promising careers in aviation.
MSM Reporter is collated by a globally spread team of MSM and is published every Thursday.